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Closing the Racial Wealth Gap Materials

The presentation materials from our Closing the Racial Wealth Gap are now available on our publications page, under the heading “Wealth.”

Hear Mechele Dickerson’s presentation on the racial wealth gap below:

 

Faculty Affiliates Research Regional Educational Equity Policies

Jennifer Jellison Holme, Associate Professor of Educational Policy and Planning in the Department of Educational Administration, has been studying the relationship between racial and economic segregation and educational inequality. In a recent article, Dr. Holme and Dr. Kara Finnigan outline regional educational equity policies that reduce economic and racial isolation, help promote greater equitybetween school districts, and improve academic achievement for all students across metropolitan areas. The article highlights, in particular, the need for local and regional policies that combine choice and place-based investment in high poverty schools. Dr. Holme and Dr. Finnigan say that state and federal action is also needed to support adoption of these policies, through measures such as targeted funding and reforms to accountability systems.

Click here to read the full report.

Panel to Feature Experts on Wealth Inequality

The fourth and final program of the Opportunity Forum’s 2015-16 Lunch Series on Uniting Our Divided City, Closing the Racial Wealth Gap, focuses on our community’s persistent racial wealth divides. Wealth is critical for families to achieve financial stability and build a better life. But the ability to build wealth in our society is highly racialized, leading to a racial wealth gap that is now at historic levels. Today, Black and Latino households currently have 80% less wealth than white households, with far reaching consequences. What does this mean for Texas families and what is being done to address the ever-growing inequality?

The Opportunity Forum is proud to feature Mechele Dickerson as the event speaker. Dickerson is a professor of bankruptcy law and practice in the University of Texas School of Law and an Opportunity Forum Faculty Affiliate. Her research focuses on income and wealth inequality, student loans, and financial challenges facing the middle class. Dickerson has testified before a congressional subcommittee on the way housing unaffordability is devestating middle-income Americans.

We are also pleased to welcome Ann Baddour, Don Baylor, and Roy C. Lopez as panelists for the event.

Baddour is the director of the Fair Financial Services Project at Texas Appleseed, a nonprofit organization serving underrepresented Texans. In this role, Baddour works to bring low-income and immigrant consumers into the financial mainstream.

Baylor, Senior Associate at the Urban Institute, is currently working on several projects, including Cities of Learning, a multicity, youth digital-badging initiative; an assessment of JPMorgan Chase Foundation’s investments in Detroit and financial capability; and an effort to create a strategic framework for state and local economic development policy in partnership with the Laura and John Arnold Foundation.

In his position as Community Development Officer, Lopez is leading the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas initiative to promote economic growth and financial stability for low- and moderate-income communities and individuals.

UT Opportunity Forum founder Heather K. Way will be moderating the panel discussion. Way is a clinical professor and director of the Entrepreneurship and Community Development Clinic in the University of Texas School of Law. Way’s research focuses on the analysis and development of public policies that promote the creation of equitable and inclusive communities.

Join the Opportunity Forum on Friday, April 22 in the Bass Lecture Hall (The Lyndon B. School of Public Affairs) from 12:00 – 2:00 pm to hear from UT faculty and policy makers on this pressing issue. Seats are filling up fast, register to attend here.

Questions can be directed to opportunityforum@law.utexas.edu.

 

 

Affiliate Spotlight: Terrance Green

The Affiliate Spotlight showcases an exemplary Opportunity Forum Faculty Affiliate and his/her current research in the Opportunity Forum E-Newsletter. Our March Affiliate Spotlight is Dr. Terrance Green, Assistant Professor in the College of Education.
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Dr Terrance Green

Terrance Green became an Opportunity Forum Affiliate in 2015. His research investigates the ways that urban policy can be leveraged to improve educational outcomes and community development in low-income neighborhoods of color. Dr. Green received his Ph.D. in Educational Leadership & Policy Analysis from the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

One of his current projects, along with UT Ph.D. students Emily Germain and Joanna D. Sánchez, investigates the geography of educational opportunity in Austin. The project assesses the spatial distribution of “high-quality educational opportunity” in the Austin Independent School District (AISD), and how these spatial patterns and district policies influence “opportunity hoarding” within the district.

Their research findings include:

  • More elementary schools are deemed high-quality compared to middle and high schools
  • High-quality schools are disproportionately distributed west of I-35 and are typically found in low-poverty zones
  • Attendance zones with the largest percent of African-American students are not zoned for any “high-quality” high schools

Based on these findings, Dr. Green, Ms. Germain, and Ms. Sánchez have identified potential courses of action that district leaders and policymakers could take to expand high-quality educational opportunities in AISD. To find out their proposed solutions, read the executive summary.

Presentation by Garrett Groves: Racial and Ethnic Divides in Education

The Speaker Series “Uniting Our Divided City” continued this spring with a forum on racial and ethnic divides in education.  Panelists included Ted Gordon, Garrett Groves, Angela Valenzuela, and Allen Weeks, and was moderated by Opportunity Forum Affiliates Terrance Green and Jennifer Holme. Please see below Garrett Groves’ presentation data on racial and ethnic disparities in college preparedness. Please click here to view a PDF of the presentation.

Please click here to view a PDF of the presentation.

Invisible in Austin

Join us Thursday, February 4 from 2:00 – 3:30 pm in the Gordon White Building room 2.206 for Invisible in Austin, a book talk with the editors and contributors. Registration required.

Austin is renowned as a fast-growing city and a cool place to live. But, the growing gap between rich and poor is reconfiguring its cityscape. In Invisible in Austin, Javier Auyero and graduate students explore the lives of those working at the bottom of the social order. Recounting their life stories with empathy and sociological insight, the authors show us how these lives are driven by a complex mix of individual and social forces.

Speakers:

Javier Auyero | Editor
Professor, Department of Sociology
The University of Texas at Austin

Pamela Neumann | Contributor
Doctoral Candidate, Department of Sociology
The University of Texas at Austin

Katherine Sobering | Contributor
Doctoral Candidate, Department of Sociology
The University of Texas at Austin

Book Talk CoSponsors:

The William Wayne Justice Center for Public Interest Law
The Lyndon B. Johnson School of Public Affairs
The Institute for Urban Policy Research & Analysis

Health Disparities Presentations

The panelists from the Health Disparities event presented some compelling information about and solutions to health inequities in Austin/Travis County. Review the presentations here:

Christie Garbe presentation

Christie Garbe, Central Health Vice President & Chief Strategy Officer, on identifying and addressing health disparities toward a health equitable Travis County.

Miyong Kim presentation

Miyong Kim, Professor in the University of Texas School of Nursing, on understanding  the role of  health literacy in eliminating health disparities among vulnerable populations.

William Lawson presentation

William Lawson, Associate Dean of Health Disparities in the University of Texas Dell Medical School, on addressing health disparities in Austin/Travis County.

“Addressing Racial and Ethnic Inequalities” Panel Available Online

Couldn’t make it to our last panel?

A video recording of the panel discussion “Uniting Our Divided City: Addressing Racial and Ethnic Inequalities in Austin” is now available online for public viewing.

Please click here to access the video.

Uniting Our Divided City: Addressing Health Disparities

Join us on November 13th for the second event of the Opportunity Forum 2015-2016 Lunch Series, featuring health care providers, advocates, and UT faculty working to address racial and ethnic health disparities in our community. Travis County and the City of Austin have the reputation of having a healthy population, but many residents are being left behind, unable to share in the benefits of good health.

Registration: Attendance is free but seating is limited and an RSVP is required. Click here to register for the event

Friday, November 13, 2015
The Lyndon B. Johnson School of Public Affairs
The University of Texas at Austin
2300 Red River Street, Austin TX 78712
Sid Richardson Hall, Unit 3
12:00 pm – 1:30 pm
Lunch provided

Panelists:

Christie Garbe
Vice President and Chief Strategy Officer, Central Health

Dr. William Lawson
Associate Dean of Health Disparities, Dell Medical School
The University of Texas at Austin

Moderated by Sherri Greenberg, Clinical Professor, Lyndon B. Johnson School of Public Affairs, the University of Texas at Austin

Lunch Series Co-Sponsors:

William Wayne Justice Center for Public Interest Law
Lyndon B. Johnson School of Public Affairs
The Institute for Urban Policy Research & Analysis
Michael & Susan Dell Center for Healthy Living at the University of Texas School of Public Health Austin Regional Campus
Graduate Program in Community and Regional Planning, School of Architecture

Parking, Driving, and Transit Directions:

Registrants may park in the Manor Garage for a fee (down the street from the LBJ School of Public Affairs on Robert Dedman Dr.). Please allow ample time to park and walk to the event.

Driving directions to the LBJ School of Public Affairs
Parking instructions for the Manor Garage
Capital Metro Trip Planner

2015-2016 Lunch Series – Uniting Our Divided City: Addressing Racial and Ethnic Inequalities in Austin

Join us on October 16th for the first event of the Opportunity Forum 2015-2016 Lunch Series, a panel discussion addressing one of Austin’s most pressing issues: inequity. As one of the most segregated cities in the U.S., Austin has a long history of inequity that has left deep divisions across many sectors of our community. How has the city reached this point, and what can be done to address these persistent divides? Join us for the first event in this year’s Opportunity Forum speaker series, featuring UT faculty, a journalist, a policy advocate, and a government leader who are all working to document and address these pressing inequities.

Registration: Attendance is free but seating is limited and an RSVP is required. Click here to register for the event.

Friday, October 16, 2015
The University of Texas School of Law
727 E. Dean Keeton Street, Austin TX 78705
Townes Hall 2.114 (Francis Auditorium)
12:00 pm – 1:30 pm
Lunch provided

Panelists:

Greg Casar
Council Member, Austin City Council

Mechele Dickerson
Professor
The University of Texas School of Law

Jennifer Holme
Associate Professor, College of Education
The University of Texas at Austin

Dan Zehr
Reporter
Austin American-Statesman

Moderated by John Henneberger, Co-Director of the Texas Low-Income Housing Information Service

Lunch Series Co-Sponsors:

The Institute for Urban Policy Research & Analysis
Michael & Susan Dell Center for Healthy Living at the University of Texas School of Public Health Austin Regional Campus
William Wayne Justice Center for Public Interest Law
Lyndon B. Johnson School of Public Affairs
Graduate Program in Community and Regional Planning, School of Architecture

Parking and driving directions: 

Registrants may park in the San Jacinto Garage for a fee (down the street from the Law School on Trinity Street). Please allow ample time to park and walk to the event.

Driving to the School of Law
Parking instructions for the San Jacinto Garage
Building map of Townes Hall
Capital Metro Trip Planner

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